How to Prep Your Home for a New Puppy
Bringing a new puppy home is a very exciting event. But, just like you wouldn’t bring a new baby home without first stocking up on a crib and a few bottles, you need to take the time to prepare your house for this new arrival.
With that in mind, below are a few tips on how to prep your home for a new puppy. Read them over so that you and your family can feel sufficiently ready for the big day.
Before the puppy comes home
Decide on a schedule
Keeping your puppy on a schedule is one of the best things that you can do to help your new family member feel safe and secure. To that end, it’s not something that you’ll want to be figuring out on the fly after your new puppy arrives. Instead, take the time to divvy up responsibilities and to decide on a schedule in advance.
Here are some tasks to consider:
- When will the puppy get fed? Who will be in charge of feeding times every day?
- Who will let the puppy out? What times will the potty breaks be?
- Will the puppy be going on any extra walks? Who will be in charge of those?
Take time to puppy-proof the house
Similar to crawling babies, young puppies are driven by curiosity. This means that they have a tendency to get into anything and everything. Aside from chewing on your favorite pair of shoes, they could also get into more dangerous situations, which is why it’s a good idea for you to puppy-proof the house before your new little one comes home.
Though every dog will react to their new environment differently, it’s best to do the following:
- Move any chemicals on to high shelves
- Tape any loose electrical cords to your baseboards
- Keep any choking hazards well out of reach
- Consider putting child locks on cupboards
- Think about putting up baby gates
If you have children at home, this can be a good way to help prepare them for the puppy’s arrival. Have them get down to your puppy’s eye level and identify anything that could potentially be dangerous for him or her. Then, help them come up with an appropriate remedy.
Stock up on supplies
Lastly, before your new puppy comes home, you’ll want to be sure to stock up on all the necessary supplies. Again, similar to an infant who’s arriving home for the first time, young pups need a lot of stuff. Here’s a selection of what you may want to provide:
- A crate
- A dog bed
- Food and water bowls
- Dog food and treats
- A leash and collar or harness
- Brushes and grooming tools
- Some toys
Prepare a room for the puppy
Letting the puppy have free reign of the house from day one is asking for trouble. You never know what kind of trouble a young pup can get themselves into. Instead, it may be better to section off one room for when the new puppy comes home and to introduce them to their new environment slowly, especially if you have other pets at home.
Given that, you may want to consider preparing one room that will serve as your new puppy’s point of introduction to their new home. Start by blocking off any entrances and exits from the room with baby gates. Then, make sure that the room is equipped with plenty of soft bedding and interesting toys to keep the puppy occupied.
Once the puppy arrives
Show the pooch where their potty place is
In order to avoid cleaning up a mess shortly after the new pup arrives, one of the best things you can do is to take them to the area where you would like them to do their business on a regular basis. Wait for them to go and be sure to reward them with plenty of treats after they’ve finally done their business.
Stick to the schedule
After that, it’s important to get down to business as usual. The earlier you start the new pup on their new routine, the easier the transition will be for everyone involved. This means sticking to the regular feeding, toileting, and walking times that you decided upon earlier. If you’ve decided to crate train your pup, it’s important to stick to that routine as well.
The reality is that a puppy will learn by experience. If you give in to whining and crying on the first day that you put them into their new crate, odds are good that more whining and crying will follow — and a few instances can quickly turn into bad habits. Start training your puppy the right way from day one and you’ll be glad you did.
Balance lots of love and attention with space
It can be extremely tempting to shower your new family member with love and attention on their first day home. However, it’s important to do your best not to overwhelm the puppy. After all, their whole environment just changed. There’s bound to be a little bit of an adjustment period.
As you play with the pup, keep an eye out for signs of unhappiness or unease and, once you start to see them, give the puppy a breather. You can always come back and give them more affection later, but some space can also give the puppy time to adjust to its new home.